Project Management

Measuring Virtual Team Performance

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A colleague of mine recently told me about a situation he had come across with a client. A project team member had been having difficulties with some of the work assigned to them and the rest of the team had banded together to help out.

Sounds reasonable, right? Sounds like the sort of thing that project managers encourage their teams to do, and something that is evidence of solid team building. But here’s the thing: The project manager never knew that it had happened.

The team member having difficulties had experienced issues with performance before and had been put on a performance management plan to try and help them improve. But because they were struggling with the work assigned to them, they were worried that they would get fired, so they worked with several other team members to get some help behind the PM’s back and report the progress as if it were their own. The issue only came to light after the project was finished because the individual left the company and their colleagues admitted what had happened.

The colleagues said that because all the project work was being done virtually, it was fairly easy to hide what was going on from management and that the biggest challenge had simply been balancing workloads among the people who were helping out.

Now, I don’t think this type of situation is very common, but I’m also sure it goes on&…

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If you look at it, manure isn't such a bad word. You got the "newer" and the "ma" in front of it. Manure.

- George Costanza